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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

In the Dark About Something? Last Thoughts for 2021

Beloved friends, this is my final post for 2021 as we’ll be traveling north next week to join family for Christmas. I have a special photo to share with you below! And I’ll be back with you on January 4 with some fun news about where we’ll be serving in 2022.

But first…

Have you ever been kept in the dark about something?

I will never forget how astounded I was thirty-five years ago when my husband, Mike, planned a surprise trip to Bermuda for our tenth wedding anniversary. At the time we were living on the very modest salary of a youth pastor. While our church provided for staff as best they could, I needed to work as well so we could heat our home in the winter (which in New England is loooong.)

With no extra funds for travel, Mike began saving nearly two years in advance for a four-day getaway. We had two small children and one on the way, and he recruited family members to stay with the children and my friend Debbie to pack my bag with the maternity clothes I’d need. He even disconnected wires on my car so he could drive me to the university where I taught in order to pick me up after class the day of departure so we could head straight to the airport.

I never suspected a thing! I still marvel at the meticulous planning that went into keeping Mike’s plans secret until the big day.

Sometimes we’re kept in the dark for happy reasons, like surprise parties or special celebrations. Other times, we’re blindsided by something we never saw coming, like a dump truck that comes barreling out of a dark alley when we’re looking the other way.

I think of my friend Charisse (name has been changed), who traveled to Florida at her own expense to help the woman she thought was her best friend move back to Charisse’s community, only to discover that the “friend” was having an affair with Charisse’s husband.

I still wince when I think of the Sunday Mike and I were alerted after church services that dear friends of ours who pastored a large church nearby were weeping in Mike’s office. They had arrived at their own church ready to serve that morning, five children in tow, totally unaware that lay leaders had decided to terminate their employment effective immediately.

Being kept in the dark is devastating when demonic forces of betrayal and deception are the keepers.

There is another kind of keeping, though, that is far more powerful.

This morning I turned once again to the biblical passage I marked on August 12 when our granddaughter Jane was delivered against all odds.

“Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.” (Ps. 22:9-10)

As many of you know, we learned that baby girls with Jane’s diagnosis only have a 2% chance of surviving until birth. Throughout those long, shadowed months while Jane was carried in our daughter-in-law’s womb, her Father God was with her, protecting her, keeping her.

Baby Jane with her mama this past Saturday!

Keeping her in the dark.

Are you struggling to peer into your own future right now, or that of your family? You might be fighting an insidious disease, grieving over family estrangement, or worried about the increasing division and economic instability in our country.

I understand these fears. I share them.

Yet now, more than ever, we have hope. As Sandra McCracken writes, “Darkness does not define you. It does not have the last word; Light does.”

Our Creator spoke the world into being through the power of His word. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. “In him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Even as God had the first word, He will have the last as well. We are well kept, friends.

“It will be all right in the end. If it’s not okay, then it is not the end.” Sandra McCracken

[It’s Not]


Midnight on Christmas Eve, 2020, Peace Ridge. "The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing."



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